Official Publication of the North Dakota Association of the Blind
Available in four formats: large print, e-mail, braille and cassette tape
Editor: Kathy Larson firstname.lastname@example.org
“Not he who lacks sight, but he who lacks vision is blind.”
“We strive to enhance the way of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,
To encourage employment opportunities, and to educate the public about sight loss.”
Table of Contents
|Greetings from the President||2|
|Note from the Editor||3|
|Welcome New NDAB Members||4|
|August is Coming||4|
|Family Adjustment Seminar||6|
|Members of Our NDAB Family||6|
|Master Sergeant Eric Marts||7|
|Come To Your Senses||8|
|Listening to ACB Radio||9|
|Member News From Around the State||11|
|Donations and Memorials||15|
|Achieving Dreams in 2014||16|
|ND Heritage Center Volunteer||17|
|Winter Reflections from Ruth Phalen||17|
|Samsung Releasing Smartphone||19|
|Nominating Committee Report||19|
|The GoBible Voyager||20|
|Michigan Man Sees Thanks to Bionic Eye||20|
|Bismarck Seniors are on the Go||22|
|About the 2014 ACB Legislative Seminar||25|
|NDAB January Board Meeting Minutes||28|
|NDAB Participation Incentive Program||31|
|NDAB PIP Member Report Form||32|
|How Much Music Can You Make?||33|
|NDAB Leadership Roster
Greetings from the President
Hello Team NDAB,
“Aware of all my senses”
With the feel of a slightly cool breeze wistfully blowing through the window with an almost sweet smell finding itself brushing up against my face and brow, my eyes sleepily blinked open then closed again, a faint sweet memory gently touching my drowsy mind with the sound of fresh sun kissed water running quickly through the eaves of the house and the cheery sound of chirping birds singing their happy songs. A short time later my eye’s once again blinked open and shut, but this time my thoughts were slightly more clear and realized that I had left the window open before entering into my sleepy slumber the previous night. Again, this dreamy memory touched my mind with the birds chirping, water running, the slight cool breeze, and that wonderful sweet smell. My mind finally grasped what my senses were trying to tell me; then suddenly my eyes open wide and I could feel a huge smile paint my sleepy face. Then turning over and looking through my blurred world I saw the sparkle of sunshine touching a clear blue sky. Excitedly I exclaim, “YES, FINALLY” and jumped to my feet, throwing on my shirt, and running rapidly down the hall, yelling, “It’s here, it’s here,” tripping over the cat, the rocking chair, and finally hitting the floor after tripping over the ottoman. Quickly getting myself up off the floor, I reached for the door knob and flung open the door and yelled, “Yes, I made it! Spring is here, it’s here.” With the sun beaming its wonderful radiant light into the house, I sensed its comforting warmth against my skin and said, “Aaahhh… thank you Lord.” After a few moments of blissful reflection, I finally hear my lovely bride loudly exclaiming, “What are you doing?” With my arms flailing about me I respond, “Honey, Honey, it’s here, spring is finally here!” Smiling and closing the door she says, “Yes my love, I know, it is great, but do you think you are missing anything?” I start to shout, “Wait! Don’t shut the….” Suddenly aware of all my senses again and looking down to realize, I forgot my pants!
“Come To Your Senses”
I am just as excited about this year’s NDAB State Convention! Missy, Rick and Char, the Kathryns, Ali, Jesse and Sherry, Melissa and Dean, Shereen, and the whole Fargo crew have been working diligently to bring to you our members a weekend full of memorable events to delight all of your senses. When, you ask, is the NDAB Convention? Great question. This year’s convention will be held in Fargo on June 13th – 15th, at the Country Inn & Suites. We have lots of things planned and I would love to see all of you at this year’s “Come To Your Sense’s” great event.
One of the many senses you will experience at this year’s convention is the sound of Mr. William Hawkins’ voice. Who is William Hawkins? Another great question. Well, quite simply, William is one of the most intelligent, professional, and well-spoken individuals whom I have had the privilege to work with. He has over 25 years of experience in the insurance, banking, and community development fields and is a certified financial planner. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about his helping others gain their financial freedom and as you will soon learn from the treasurer’s report at convention, has dramatically helped NDAB’s financial future for many years to come and has asked nothing in return. He has taught us many things, but, he has so much more he can teach us. I have invited Mr. Hawkins to speak to our members at this year’s convention, and if you come for no other reason, come to hear him speak!
“Privileged & Honored”
I can hardly believe it has been two years since you provided me the privilege and honor as serving as President of NDAB, and I am grateful. Thank you for this great opportunity. My goal from the beginning has been to “create our future today, together,” to greatly honor our past and create excitement for our future, to pull people together, to increase participation and to place more building blocks on our strong foundation for future generations of NDAB members. I believe we have made some progress and I hope that I can help create more progress in the future. However, more importantly I dearly hope you feel the same way, for NDAB is not my organization, nor the board’s organization, it is each and every one of you, our members’ organization. See you at convention
Be safe, be happy, and God Bless!
Mark Kueffler, President
Note from the Editor
Spring… where is it? As I write this after Easter, we have possible snow in the forecast for the coming days! I suppose it won’t be long and we’ll be complaining that it is too hot.
Thanks to those who sent in favorite quotes.
The following are from Loris Van Berkom:
Life isn’t about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain.
When life is more than you can stand, kneel.
Never become discouraged with the seeming smallness of your task, job, or life. Cling fast to the words of Edward Everett Hale, "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do something I can do."
The key to accomplishment is believing that what you can do will make a difference.
“The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” --Author Unknown
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” --Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Helen Baumgartner sent this one:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” --Thomas A. Edison
Here are two more favorites of mine:
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
“While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.” --Benjamin Franklin
As in prior Promoters, I will end the issue with an article written by Steve Goodier, a favorite writer of mine.
If you have a favorite quote you’d like to share, send it to me at email@example.com or mail it to: 15225 59th St NW, Williston ND 58801-9560.
Kathy Larson, Promoter Editor
Welcome New NDAB Members
NDAB welcomes new members Mary Frelich of Devils Lake, Bismarck residents Gretchen Campbell and Cole Roberts, Jim Klein of Valley City, and Marvin Heaton of Fargo. Welcome back toGene Haugen of Jamestown.
August is Coming
Submitted by Loris Van Berkom and Rick Feldman, Co-Camp Directors
In a little over four months, it will be time to head to the Elks Camp Grassick for the 44th session of our NDAB Summer Camp. The camp dates are August 10-17. Camp packets will be sent out between the middle and end of June and will be due back by July 15th. If you have the name of a possible new camper, please call one of your camp directors. We will make the contact and determine eligibility.
Plans are shaping up for some new classes and of course, several of the former classes. The banquet is being planned by Kathy Larson and her daughter with “Gone Fishin’” as the theme.
If you have any questions or suggestions for classes, contact Rick at (701) 235-3293 or Loris at (701) 774-3399.
Below are the camp guidelines:
NDAB SUMMER CAMP GUIDELINES
- To provide an opportunity for persons who are visually impaired to come in contact with persons with similar impairments and share a common concern.
- To help in the process of adjusting to blindness.
- To provide an opportunity to learn new skills, techniques, and leisure time activities to enhance the quality of life.
- Must be at least 18 years of age with vision loss as the primary disability.
- Must be capable of participating in the program set-up for camp.
- Must be able to care for one’s personal needs including bathing, dressing, eating, etc.
- Must be physically able to get oneself around the camp grounds, with the exclusion of difficulty with mobility due to vision loss.
- Must be cooperative and demonstrate willingness to abide by the regulations of camp.
- Alcoholic beverages and/or unauthorized drugs are not allowed on the camp grounds.Any violators will be promptly sent home at their own expense.
- All campers must remain overnight at camp.
- Campers must attend the entire week of camp unless other arrangements have been made with the co-camp directors, or a situation arises, such as an illness or a family emergency.
- Participants must notify one of the directors if leaving the campus for any reason.
- Must demonstrate respect for authority.
- Must display consideration for fellow campers.
GEOGRAPHICAL ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES
- Any adult who is visually impaired and not a North Dakota resident but is attending a North Dakota college or university will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp at no cost.
- One member of ACB leadership will be eligible to attend the NDAB Summer Camp annually as a camper at no cost.
- Any adult who is visually impaired and who lives in another state other than North Dakota could attend camp but must pay for their room and board, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director. At this time, the cost is $250. Any adult who is visually impaired and lives in a border town may attend at no cost. Border towns include East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Breckenridge and West Fairview.
- Camp capacity, which is set by the Elks Camp Grassick Director, is 60 people. Residents of North Dakota would be given preference to out of state campers if the camp capacity were reached.
- Any member of NDAB who moved out of state but continued to pay their annual dues would be eligible to attend camp at no cost.
Family Adjustment Seminar
by Janelle F. Olson, Chairperson
As I sit down to write my offering for this edition of the Promoter, a line from that well known hymn “Was blind, but now I see” keeps circling my thoughts like a neon sign as it draws attention to the newest restaurant in town or the latest and greatest Broadway hit. I wondered why, and then quickly figured it out.
While my acuity has not changed for the better since my family and I were invited to attend the Family Adjustment Seminar some 28 years ago, I was given back my vision and this event would prove to be life changing. It was the doorway to me receiving tools to cope with my vision loss, hope, strength and an unmatched fellowship through NDAB and all of the members. This is what I want for each and every person who is experiencing sight loss. Is there any wonder why I get so pushy when contacting possible participants? I know just how much this event can make a difference because I have lived it! So, this being said, I need to let you know, like the seminar scheduled this past October in Bismarck, the seminar set for Saturday, April 12th was canceled due to no participants. I don’t know where our neighbors with sight loss are hiding and why interest couldn’t be stirred up, but I just know this makes me very sad.
As of now, the only information I can give you is that the future of this project is in limbo. The collective heads of the board have been put together and I am quite sure there will be time for input and discussion by the convention body when we gather together in June in Fargo.
Members of our NDAB Family
by Kathy Larson
You will read later in this newsletter about the changes in the life of Bob Vandal. On February 28th He had a leg amputated just below the knee. He was very glad to move home again on April 10th after spending time in rehab. I spoke with him today) April 23) and he sounded positive and up-beat. He feels fairly comfortable walking in the kitchen with his temporary prosthesis and the walker or crutches; in another couple of weeks he may get the permanent one. Bob still has his sense of humor, telling me that it’s a whole lot easier to put his pants on his left leg; he doesn’t have to bend down so far! Please keep Bob in your thoughts and prayers. If you wish to send him greetings, mail to: 1311 N 3rd St, Bismarck ND 58501.
Another NDAB member who needs our thoughts and prayers is Shereen Faber. She had her right leg amputated above the knee on April 9th at Sanford Hospital, Fargo. She was just moved to Vibra Hospital of Fargo, a Long Term Acute Care Unit, on the Thursday before Easter. I have spoken with her several times, and she sounds wonderful! She has such a good attitude, with her strong faith and her great sense of humor still very visible. She says that she is now free from the horrific pain in her right foot caused from infection. The doctor is running Antibiotics for the six weeks following surgery with two of those weeks behind her now. She is healing well, working with physical and occupational therapy every day and setting goals.
She is learning to use a walker and toning up those arm muscles as she hops from place to place. Nurses observed her on Easter Sunday and said, “We didn’t know you could hop so well.” “Well,” said Shereen, “It is Easter!” You can call Shereen at 451-6690 or send her a card in care of: Vibra Hospital of Fargo, 1720 South University Drive, Room 218, Fargo ND 58103. Shereen plans to get back home again in June.
Our 3rd NDAB member that I will ask you to remember in thought and prayer is Paula Anundson of Valley City. I visited with her today (April 23) and asked if I could include her in our “NDAB Family” article. She has a lot of pain every day caused from Polymyalgia rheumatic, a form of arthritis that affects the joints and tissues. I know that she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers. If you care to send her greetings, mail to: 151 S Central Ave #206, Valley City ND 58072.
Master Sergeant Eric Marts
Champion for Veterans Master Sergeant Marts was invited by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp to be her guest in January at the State of the Union address in Washington, DC. Heitkamp met Marts last summer when she traveled the state to listen to the issues facing North Dakota veterans. "Each year, I ask someone special, someone who represents the very best from our communities, to be my guest at the State of the Union. This year, I am so honored that Eric will be able to join us for the President's address to the nation," said Heitkamp. "Eric's story is about a man who is selflessly committed to serving our country, who has sacrificed much and overcame great obstacles. Eric continues to serve and has made it his life's mission to make life better for those who sacrifice so much for us."
Outfitted by Straus Clothing, Marts and his trusty guide dog, Corporal Deacon, headed to our nation’s capital. “Senator Heitkamp was very gracious to us and set up meetings for us throughout the week,” Marts said. At the State of the Union, they were seated in the gallery, “to the left of the First Family.”
Marts and Deacon were also invited to the White House where they met with a presidential advisor; as they stood on the White House lawn, Marine One landed nearby. As if that wasn’t enough, the pair was featured on MSNBC’s “Taking the Hill,” had a private tour of the Pentagon and met with the leaders of the Wounded Warrior Project, along with a list of who’s who in Congress. “It wasn’t political at all,” Marts explained. “It was all about giving a voice to our veterans.”
As the first guide dog to be invited to the State of the Union, Corporal Deacon may need to be promoted, Marts added. The pair also went on several tours, ”although I wasn’t much of a sightseer,” Marts joked.
The former master sergeant’s vision started deteriorating in 2006 while serving in heavy combat areas of Iraq; Marts’ convoy was hit by multiple roadside bombs, resulting in a traumatic brain injury and eventual blindness. He was serving with Company B of the Minnesota National Guard’s 2/136th Infantry Combat Arms Battalion, part of the 34th Infantry Division. When his loss of vision began, he convinced superiors he was still vital to the mission and stayed in combat until July 2007.
Marts now lives in Moorhead and realized his dream of becoming an on- air personality when he launched a WDAY 970 AM radio show called “Heroes of the Heartland.” “I have spent my lifetime taking care of soldiers, accomplishing the mission and looking out for our troop’s safety and I thought I can't let that go and I found a different way to do it, if the military does not want me anymore I can still help them.” The 10 a.m. Saturday morning talk show highlights issues of importance to our veterans and provides an outlet for those who have served, information on resources available to those in need and for them to share their experiences.
Determined to continue to serve, Marts and his companion Corporal Deacon have become champions for veterans and their families.
"Come To Your Senses"
Meet us in Fargo for Convention 2014
Please join us in Fargo for our annual state convention to be held Friday, June 13th through Sunday, June 15th, 2014.
This year we will be at the Fargo Country Inn & Suites located at 3316 13th Avenue South, Fargo, ND 58103. A block of non-smoking rooms with a special rate of $89 per night has been set aside for us. All rooms include a microwave and fridge, iron and board, hairdryer, and single cup coffee maker. Don't forget to pack your suit and gym shorts as the hotel has a Pool, Whirlpool, and Fitness Center. And finally, make sure to treat yourself to the complimentary deluxe continental breakfast available from
7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. There is a pub at the hotel but no on-site restaurant. No worries, when it comes to food, we have you covered. We have arranged awesome catering for a Friday night picnic as well as Saturday lunch and dinner.
Friday evening we will feast on pulled pork with all the fixings at the West Fargo Elmwood Park Shelter. We look forward to social time and the opportunity to sit down and "chew the fat" with our state legislators. This special event is being sponsored by the Horace Lions, Sunmart, and Hornbachers grocery stores. The Fargo Gateway Lions will be helping us out with transportation to and from the park shelter.
Saturday we will feature our vendors in a "Vendor Showcase Luncheon." Please plan on being with us for a wonderful catered luncheon. This will be your opportunity to listen to vendor presentations and get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest things they have to offer us.
Would you like to meet Retired Master Sergeant Eric Marts from the previous article? Make sure to attend our Saturday night banquet as he will be our guest speaker for the event. Eric is a local veteran and host of “Heroes of the Heartland,” a radio show on 970 WDAY. He will speak on his time in Iraq serving our country and how that service led to his sight loss.
Sunday morning, join us for an 8:00 a.m. Memorial Service, caramel Rolls at 8:30 and then on to new business and election of officers.
To make your hotel reservation, please call the hotel directly at (701)235-0565 no later than May 16th, 2014. You must inform the hotel that you are attending the North Dakota Association of the Blind State Convention to get the $89 per night room rate.
Thank You and See You in June! Missy Miller, 2014 Convention Chair
Listening to ACB Radio using a newer edition of the Victor Reader Stream
With the February 4 release of the Victor Reader Stream firmware, the next-generation Stream has joined the ranks of portable book readers capable of streaming Internet radio. Yes, a Stream that streams. This means that, if you have a new Stream and you’re connected to wi-fi, you can listen to ACB Radio with it.
The Stream comes preloaded with a wide variety of Internet radio stations. If you are set to English North America, all six ACB Radio streams are available to you using these presets.
- Switch into online mode, using the online button located between the go to and bookmark keys.
- Press 1 to go into the online bookshelf, and if necessary, use 4/6 to navigate to the Internet Radio bookshelf and confirm to select it.
- By default, there are two books on this bookshelf: favorites and Humanware Suggested. Navigate to the latter and select it.
- Again using 4/6, navigate through the list of stations found here. Among those will be ACB Radio Mainstream, Interactive, Café, World, Treasure Trove, News and Information and Live Events. Simply press play on the desired station to listen to it.
You can even favorite your favorite ACB Radio streams, and here’s how:
- From the Internet Radio bookshelf within the online bookshelf, choose “search on OOTunes”. OOTunes is a popular app for the iPhone and maintains a comprehensive up-to-date database of terrestrial and internet radio stations. Your favorite station is most likely in it. The Stream allows you to search for stations using this database.
- There are two options: browse by genre, and search by name. Use 8 to get to the search by name field, and press confirm to select.
- Using the text entry capability of the keypad, enter ACB (press two once, wait, press two three times quickly, wait, and press two twice quickly), then press confirm. (if you remember the days of keying in alpha numerics, you will remember that the first press of the number 2 sends an a, 2 presses send a b, 3 a c, and 4 the number 2; the first press of the number 3 sends a d, 2 presses send an e, 3 an f and 4 the number 3, and so on through to number 9.)
- If you key in ACB, the list with which you will be presented comprises all six ACB Radio streams. Choose Live Events, or any other station on this list, and press play.
- You can now add this station to your favorites, if you wish, by pressing the bookmark key, and then confirm.
If you don’t have a Victor Reader Stream, an iDevice or computer, you can listen to ACB internet Radio by using your telephone and dialing 1-231-460-1047.
A Unique Company serving the blind & visually impaired:
Submitted by Jim Klein
Recently, WhatchaSelling came to my attention. And I felt driven to help promote it!
This auction and classified ads site is patterned after EBay but is a lot easier to navigate. It was designed with the blind and visually impaired in mind. Besides being easier to navigate, it is FREE. EBay is known for many fees, where as WhatchaSelling has few if any.
We need your listings and shopping, so please give us a try!!
Got something to sell? Provide a product or service others may want? Try WhatchaSelling FREE!
A companion product line is the unlimited cloud space for the lowest price on the web. LiveDrive only cost $6 a month and you can store all you want from as many computers as you own. There is a companion product called BriefCase which acts like an extra virtual drive. This is also well worth the $7.50 a month. Try them both for 10 days FREE!
I love both!! Not being very techie at all, it helps me organize things and share between my two computers and guard against crashes.
Besides being innovative, Communotech is a training center for an entire gammit of areas that help the blind and visually impaired function in the real world.
See contact info below.
Mr. Michel Battles
Or direct: (316) 854-5600 Extension 1
331 S Hydraulic
Wichita KS 67211
Microsoft, QuickBooks, Adobe, Comptia certification, training for the blind, certiport & Pearson Vue testing center in Wichita, KS.
Member News from Across the State
by Bob Vandal
It’s March 23rd 2014 and nice warm weather is just around the corner. I'm looking forward to it. I want to thank Donna Hepper, Bobby Westermeyer, Dick Veal and Mavis Anderson for contributing to this quarter’s news.
Bobby reported that the VIP group met at the Hong Kong this past March. In February, they net at the Woodhouse. Bobby loves the outdoors and on February 8th, he went ice fishing. There is no report as to the fish caught or the really big monster that got away. Bobby went on Ski for Wedding Ski for Light. He attended the wedding of Jesse and Sherry Shirek around the fire pit. Bobby said, “It put a new meaning to the term ‘cold feet’.”
Bobby wanted to let everyone know that the date for Escape to the Lake has been changed from June 14th to June 21st at Nelson Lake. This event is sponsored by NDAD, featuring skiing and other water activities. For further information call Geri at 701-795-6603.
Donna Hepper said that she and Genie Lang would be coordinating the walk taking place on April 26th. Genie will be chairing the event. I hope Bis/Man area will give you their full support.
Mavis Anderson is a person who always has something interesting in her background. She reported to me that she is back in college. Mavis is taking writing classes through a program called OSHER. It is through the Life Time Learning Institute. Go Mavis! She also reported that the Heritage Center will partially open in April. Two galleries will be ready. It sounds like this will be a beautiful heritage center with a tremendous education value.
I talked to Dick Veal today! Dick is back home and doing very well. He was discharged on February 11th. Dick has had to make some changes around the house. I have had a few people who have asked about the status of Dick. Well, he is doing great. He is using a walker from time to time. I asked him how that works with his cane and he said he doesn't use it. He has gone outside and said that is fairly different.
I have gone through some changes as well. On February 28th, I had my leg amputated just below the knee. Therapy is going well. I am in a nursing home until the first of April. My wife is back in the Philippines visiting until April 9th. I am looking forward to her return.
It is really hard to believe, but this spring, my daughter will finish school. I wish I could make it to Boston. My son and a close friend of his will be going out to be with her and I hope to be able to stream it.
by Char Feldman
As I write the Fargo news for Shereen, she is in Sanford Hospital, Room 553, awaiting surgery scheduled for Wednesday, April 9th. She is in good spirits and knows she has the thoughts and prayers of NDAB being sent her way.
I won't include the usual "happenings" in Fargo as our focus has really been on planning meetings and preparing for a fantastic 2014 NDAB convention in Fargo. Shereen had the idea for the theme for this year's convention - "Come To Your Senses!” We sure hope to see all of you in Fargo in June and will do our very best to be great hosts.
Since I am writing this article, I will take the liberty of telling you about a recent vacation Rick and I had. We took a cruise with two other couples to the Western Caribbean. We were celebrating several occasions: our 40th wedding anniversary, 60th birthdays, and a successful end to chemotherapy for one of our friends.
I have decided to do my "bucket list" this way. As experiences happen to me, I am putting them on my list and then crossing them off. So - I can now cross off para-sailing! Yes, Rick and I soared high over the Atlantic Ocean on a beautiful windy day, wearing only life jackets and a harness. Rick thoroughly enjoyed himself. I'm still deciding! Ha! When we were at the highest point, I looked down at the ocean and told Rick the only reason we were wearing life jackets is so they could find our bodies as I was sure we would not survive the fall!
We visited Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios on the island of Jamaica. The water around Jamaica was the clearest blue I have ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous! We had great weather, not hot, but nice and warm. This was my 4th cruise and Rick's 2nd. I doubt it is our last.
We usually get a balcony cabin. There is nothing quite like starting the day with a cup of coffee, sitting in your robe on the balcony and looking at the ocean. We would also sit there before we got dressed for supper and at the end of the day - so relaxing. I did not miss the newspaper, my cellphone, the internet or television once!
See you in June!
Grand Forks News
by Olga Neal
Weather in Grand Forks this winter has been pretty miserable. This has kept a lot of people home, although some have gone to warmer climates. Now in the middle of March the weatherman is predicting more snow and cold for the next two weeks. I think I will stay put in my house!
I have learned that Ruth Phalen is on a cruise! She is supposed to be back very soon.
Connie Osowski says she has no news, but she looks forward to getting the Promoter and really enjoys it. I haven’t seen Connie in years, but we sure had a wonderful visit.
Donna Iszler is pretty homebound but is doing very well. She is looking forward to spring!
I have written to Dorranna Robertson, but have not heard from her. Some of the Fargo people, I know, have been in contact with her. The last time we talked, she requested no more braille reading material. I hoped her daughter Llonna would contact me, but that hasn’t happened.
I am including my phone number here so that the people I have been unable to get in touch with can contact me if they have news in the future. Please call me at 775-5820.
Happy spring, Everyone!
by Doug and Mary Stip
Welcome, spring! I hope everybody has had a chance to get outside and enjoy some nice weather. At this writing it would be nice to see some rain, if for nothing else than to settle the dust and wash away the sand left over from the winter by the street department!
Dianne Giessinger made a trip to Mesa, Arizona, to visit a friend from high school days. She said she did a lot of sightseeing too and had a lot of fun.
Mary Jo Hamilton says things are winding down with her grandchildren’s hockey activities. She is looking forward to summer. (Aren’t we all, after the winter we’ve just had?)
Carol Schmitt has accepted an offer on her house and is busy packing. If everything goes as planned, she will then move to Devils Lake.
Lenny Haabak plans a trip in May to the East Coast where his 3 daughters live.
I had an enjoyable week away at Ski for Light in January. Even went on a snowmobile ride for the first time in years! (Note to self for next year: Go snowmobiling earlier in the week if possible.)
Mary took a trip into Minnesota for 2 weeks January 30th to February 13th and while there got to watch granddaughter Ava play hockey. What a player.
The big project for this time is of course the Walkathon. It’s been a lot of work but the results have been overwhelming with the support of friends and businesses. Plans are to have it at the Arrowhead Shopping Center, like last year. Lenny and I made a couple of TV appearances to promote it. Activities are to include a bake sale, live music, and door prizes. The boys from scout troop 416 are planning to join us again this year. We will name the contributors in the next Promoter. If anyone has any news for us, please give us a call.
Williston Wanderings Spring 2014
Submitted by Loris Van Berkom
Is spring really here? Hopefully by the time you read this, any lingering signs of winter will be long gone. I must quote something that I heard a four year old boy say on March 28th as he was looking out the window at the beauty shop where I go. Big, wet, Lazy snowflakes were floating down and he said, “I am so tired of winter! Snow, go away! Come again some other day!” I couldn’t have said it better. We didn’t have a lot of snow this winter but it was extremely long and cold. Maybe such a winter serves to make us appreciate the warmer weather of spring.
Brenda Bruins is just a few months away from working at her job at our local nursing home for 38 years. She told several people at camp that she was going to retire last fall but now she plans on working for another two years. She’s a very dedicated employee.
Luella Asleson has moved from an assisted living facility into the nursing home where Brenda works. She says that she is getting stronger and more independent. She attended camp in 2001.
Janelle Olson and her husband traveled to Orlando for a week in February. Jeff had a conference there but in his down time, they enjoyed the Florida sunshine as they explored Disney World and outlet malls. They will spend Easter in Chicago with their son Matt.
Carol Scallon and her family will be traveling to Edgeley to Grandma Scallon’s house for Easter. Their seventh grade daughter Anna was just named to the National Honor Society. Four year old Travis, their foster son, is a proud owner of a Spider Man bike but he told me on the phone that he wants a motor cycle that goes “B-r-r-r-r-o-o-m!” The Scallon family treasures each day that Travis is a part of their home.
Susan Jorgenson and her husband recently had a fun weekend at a hotel pool in Bismarck with their youngest son and family. Susan’s mother will celebrate her 91st birthday April 14th with five of her eight children in attendance.
Jean Cote appreciates the fact that the snow and ice have melted. She can now open her patio door and enjoy the nice weather.
Sheryl and Dan Gerhardt are drawing up floor plans to build on an apartment to their son’s house in Kentucky. They hope to break ground in May. They will be flying to North Dakota for their granddaughter’s high school graduation Memorial Day weekend. They will be visiting family and friends around the state and then returning to Kentucky June 19th. The building project will prohibit Sheryl from returning in August to attend camp this summer but we hope that she can come back next summer. We will miss you Sheryl.
Steve Skjei’s wife, Barb, recently joined Steve and his dad in Williston from their home in Bettendorf, Iowa, where she retired as a school counselor. She is now working here part-time at the Williston Middle School as a counselor. We were happy to welcome her to our support group gatherings.
Kathy and Stan Larson explored the Far East on a three-week vacation/cruise in February. They visited Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore. They saw natural and ancient wonders, white sand beaches, many markets and architectural marvels, rice paddies, water buffalo, lots of Buddha statues, temples, pagodas, palaces, fishing villages, and different kinds of local foods served to them, just to mention a few things. What an interesting part of the world to visit, but home looked pretty good to them. They attended the annual Sons of Norway Folk Dance Workshop the end of March held in Minot, and got a local folk dance group started again. The weekly practice sessions will soon come to a close as spring seeding will soon take priority.
I escaped the cold weather a few days in March by flying to Florida to visit my son and family. I had a great time soaking up the sun at the beach, hiking into a state park past a snake and an alligator, and playing with my three grandkids. The last weekend in April, I will travel by train to St. Cloud to attend a rock concert of which my grandsons are participants. My biggest news is that I found a new carpenter who is actually getting my basement remodeling project done after it flooded last May. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my furniture would still be in my garage almost a year later!
We hope to see many of you in Fargo June 13-15 for our annual state convention.
Donations and Memorials
Submitted by Helen Baumgartner, NDAB Treasurer
Since the February Promoter, NDAB has received the following donations and memorials:
Hazen Community Chest - $155
Boeing - $325
Total Donations: $480
Ruth Phalen in memory of Linda Oyloe and Connie Springsted
Rom Thielman in memory of Barbara Payne
Karlyn Frantsen in memory of Connie Springsted & Barbara Payne
Ruth Geske and Shereen Faber in memory of Neil Little
Candy and Terry Lien in memory of Arlen Zalesky
Steve and Rita Halland sent memorial
Total Memorials: $210
Total Donations and Memorials: $690
Empowering Blind and Low-Vision Users of Apple Products | AppleVis
AppleVis is a community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. AppleVis is a rich resource that strives to empower the community by offering multiple pathways to access and share relevant and useful information; it offers resources and mechanisms for raising awareness of the accessibility of Apple products and related applications, and for promoting further advancement in accessibility. As a community, they seek to encourage and support people in exploring the many ways in which these mainstream products and related applications can offer opportunities to the vision-impaired for personal enrichment, independence and empowerment.
At www.applevis.com you can find links to Forum, Blog, Podcasts, Guides & Tutorials, App Deals and Accessory Reviews. You can read about “Getting Started With Using VoiceOver on Your First Mac or iOS Device,” and find iOS apps that have been developed specifically for blind or low vision users which can help you in your daily life.
This time I am sharing a couple of very easy recipes that you may want to try:
¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
¼ cup skim milk
½ cup Cocoa powder
½ cup Old fashioned rolled oats (like Quaker)
½ cup Truvia (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar)
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a square baking dish (I used 8"x8"). Combine all ingredients into a food processor or a blender, and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Pour into the prepared dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 9 large squares.
Easy Breakfast Bake
¼ cup milk
1 16-oz. can refrigerated breakfast biscuits
4 green onions
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Cooked bacon or cooked sausage
1. Mix the eggs. Cut each biscuit into fours and place into mixed eggs.
2. Cut up the green onions, shred the cheese, cook and break up the bacon (or sausage). Add everything to the bowl.
3. Mix everything and pour into a 9x13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.
Achieving Dreams in 2014
North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind hosted seventeen families at its annual Family Weekend on April 4th and 5th in Bismarck, ND. Time was set aside on Friday evening for families to get acquainted or in many cases reacquainted with other families from across the state. Activities included group games, pizza and a family swim.
On Saturday, staff from NDVS/SB and volunteers from the University of Mary provided day camp activities for the children, including a radio production of “The Yellow Jacket – Too Hot to Handle,” directed by Mandy and Corey Wardner of Bismarck. The children learned about the early years of radio and the significant place it played in family entertainment during that period in history. Children learned about sound effects and were responsible for making many of their own sound effects in their recorded radio production. Another highlight for the children was a visit from Mavis Anderson of the North Dakota Heritage Center, who shared memorabilia from the golden age of radio!
Parents were kept very busy with their own set of learning objectives! One of the favorite sessions of the day was a panel discussion led by Mike and Laura Roberts, Amy Osvold, and Linda Cullen. All four participants either have a vision loss themselves or are the parent of a child with a vision loss. Parents were very grateful to have the opportunity to ask the “hard questions” of these knowledgeable and experienced panel members. Another important part of the day was a block of presentations given by staff members from ND Vision Services/School for the Blind on the expanded core curriculum. One session on daily living skills occurred while participants were blindfolded or wore vision simulators to help give them a better understanding of the challenges that can come with a visual impairment.
Family Weekend would not take place without the generous support of the ND School for the Blind Foundation and ND Vision Services/School for the Blind. It is an event that is valued by all who attend. As one participant commented on her conference evaluation form, “I felt like my heart was going to explode with joy! I will be returning for all the years to come!”
ND Heritage Center Volunteer Mavis Anderson
NDAB Member Mavis Anderson is a volunteer for the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck and was asked to come and be a part of the Family Weekend in April. What to bring from the Center and what to share with the children was the question! The Heritage Center has several suit cases filled with memorabilia from different eras, and when Mavis learned that the children would be making a radio production, she chose the “depression” suit case from the 30s. The suit case held such things as a radio, a scrub board, a canning jar containing seeds that would be planted in the garden, a funnel that would be used for canning the produce from the bountiful garden, and an old-fashioned iron. Former school teacher Mavis enjoyed the time spent with the children, having discussions about the contents of the suit case, a time for questions and answers, and even a time for singing. The children asked as to why didn’t she watch TV in the 30s.
Winter Reflections from Ruth Phalen
When Editor Kathy asked me if I would write something about the cruise I took in March I really had to think about what I could write that would be interesting. I had agreed to go basically to get away from the long winter. When my friend, Diana, first asked about going I said yes– just make the plans, be sure to check the dates with me, but I don’t care about the rest of the details. Diana has been on many cruises as she and her late husband had really enjoyed doing this. I do need to tell you that Diana is confined to a wheelchair but manages to do the things she sets her mind to doing so I figured the two of us should be okay. I realized our abilities and weaknesses were very different but what is life without a little adventure!
I have been on a couple cruises before but not for a long time. My first trip was in 1954 across the Pacific Ocean on an army transport in 18 days to Taiwan with stops in Japan and Okinawa. There were no amenities – I had a small baby and one vivid memory is of how awful the disposable diapers were back then. Fourteen days of looking only at water is a long time but it was exciting back then to leave North Dakota; it was also quite a culture shock. Then I had been on a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Alaska with my husband about 20 years ago. Age and a vision problem make a really big difference in how I approach things.
The cruise left from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and four of the 10 days were entirely at sea. On other days we visited St Thomas, St Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and St Maartens. At St Thomas and St Maartens we went shopping since the shopping areas were close and we could get there on our scooters. Ship staff told me they were the best places for good shopping. We both went on a tour at Dominica and I went to visit Barbados. Both were tropical delights with interesting vegetation – tropical trees and flowers. On Barbados we visited a large garden area with many different varieties of orchids. It rained some each day and I had always thought of these islands as having plentiful moisture but that is not the case. They have a dry season when water is scarce. The main crop for most of them was sugar cane and they sold lots of rum but now it is tourism and they need to make enough in the six month tourist season to carry them through the year. All the islands are rather mountainous; all but Barbados are volcanic islands and are in the Caribbean. Barbados is in the Atlantic Ocean. We visited a sugar cane plantation on Barbados and when we stopped on these tours we were served rum punch – pretty good! We also had a good cooking demonstration there. The tour of Dominica again took us to see the vegetation and a nice waterfall. This seemed to be the least developed and most dependent on tourism. Again rum punch was served after a stop at a tourist destination.
Of course there was much to do on the ship. We were on the Celebrity Equinox and the service, entertainment, and food were first class. Because my friend had cruised so many times with Celebrity lines she knew many on the staff, how to get around, and we had some opportunities not available to everyone. Of course there was a casino (not my thing), a pool with lots of space to sun bathe, a spa and the usual exercise and beauty places. I tried acupuncture but don’t think it helped my back. The nightly shows were very good –mostly music and comedians so I could hear them and the magician was wasted on me. There were so many things going on when we were sailing: I went to the art auction once (too spendy for me) and tried a few of the specialty eating places. Age caught up with me so I couldn’t do the bars and music places late at night.
Diana gets around on a scooter so I rented one so I could get around and keep up with her. I had nothing but trouble with my scooter(s)! I got lost more than once (that ship was really big!) but fortunately didn’t drive down any steps but did come face to face with a door. I still have many lessons to learn about what I can handle but I keep trying.
So this was another chapter in my adventure of a visually impaired older adult trying new things and coming home with a bad cold and completely worn out but now I’m ready for the next thing. Also, I didn’t really get away from winter. We came home to find a lot of the snow gone but were here for the March 30 blizzard when I had a foot of snow in my driveway so was snowed in for two days. You can’t win them all.
Samsung Releasing Smartphone-Paired Technologies for Blind People
by Editors on March 17, 2014
Today’s smartphones have a surprising amount of technology built into them to help people do all sorts of things that were otherwise impossible not so long ago. Their brilliant screens are one of their greatest draws, but somewhat surprisingly at first, the technology within can be harnessed and expanded to help blind people navigate, see their environment in a new way, and communicate with others. Now Samsung is pushing the boundaries of what smartphones can do for blind people by releasing three new assistive devices that work with their Galaxy Core Advance phones.
The most exciting is perhaps the Ultrasonic Cover that works like a virtual white cane to spot objects ahead of the user. It will vibrate or use text-to-speech (TTS) to notify the user when something is within a couple meters of the cover. Wed have to see whether it detects street curbs, and so whether it would really be practical in real world situations. Nevertheless, the fact is that a smartphone with submarine-like object detection technology is here and it’s here to help blind people get around.
The second tool for the Galaxy Core Advance is the Optical Scan Stand that allows blind people to read, with the help of the Galaxy Core Advance, anything that’s put on the devices surface. The phone is first placed into the devices cradle, and, once paper with text is positioned below it, the phone automatically starts reading what’s on the page. There’s no real setup required and no futzing when something needs to be read.
The final product being released are smart Voice Labels that have NFC (near field communication) technology built in. Basically it allows blind folks to stick labels on various things around the house, or anywhere else, that have recorded notes associated with them. Firstly, the labels identify the object they’re stuck on whenever the phone is near, helping blind folks find what they’re looking for. Secondly, the labels can trigger recorded notes that can remind the person which buttons do what on a radio, what’s inside a storage box, and how far to turn a washing machines dial to select the right program.
Nominating Committee Report
by Paula Anundson, Nominating Committee Chairperson
The following is a list of candidates for positions to be voted on at the 2014 NDAB State Convention in June.
President – Mark Kueffler
Vice President – Zelda Gebhard
Secretary – Dianne Giessinger
Treasurer – Helen Baumgartner
Board of Directors – Kathryn Schmidt
Editor – Kathy Larson
ACB Delegate – Missy Miller and Ruth Phalen
This report will also be published in the “Call to Convention” packet.
Note: Nominations for each position can be made from the convention floor.
The GoBible Voyager
The GoBible Voyager is a hand-held, portable device preloaded with the entire audio version of the Christian Bible. The Voyager has a rechargeable battery and 3 Gigabytes of space available for additional content; approximately 750 songs or over 100 hours of audio books.
When listening to the Bible, the Voyager's interactive on-screen menu allows you to easily scroll through the Old and New Testaments and select the book, chapter, and even the verse, to begin play. The Voyager is indexed to each of the over 31,000 Bible verses, so you can play, repeat or bookmark any individual verse. Additionally the Voyager has special features that make Bible study and organization very simple such as: Story Index of the most popular Bible stories broken down by Testament, Topic Index of emotions and circumstances, Bible-in-a-Year plan, and Voice Menu for sight impaired.
The GoBible® Voyager™ is available with either the King James Version, New International Version or the Word Of Promise (dramatized NKJV). Cost for the GoBible is around $100.
You can check out the official site at GoBible.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to Bionic Eye'
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — April 16, 2014
A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.
"It's awesome. It's exciting — seeing something new every day," Pontz said during a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The 55-year-old former competitive weightlifter and factory worker is one of four people in the U.S. to receive an artificial retina since the Food and Drug Administration signed off on its use last year.
The facility in Ann Arbor has been the site of all four such surgeries since FDA approval. A fifth is scheduled for next month.
Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that causes slow but progressive vision loss due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells called rods and cones. Patients experience loss of side vision and night vision, then central vision, which can result in near blindness.
Not all of the 100,000 or so people in the U.S. with retinitis pigmentosa can benefit from the bionic eye. An estimated 10,000 have vision low enough, said Dr. Brian Mech, an executive with Second Sight Medical Products Inc., the Sylmar, Calif.-based company that makes the device. Of those, about 7,500 are eligible for the surgery.
The artificial implant in Pontz's left eye is part of a system developed by Second Sight that includes a small video camera and transmitter housed in a pair of glasses.
Images from the camera are converted into a series of electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina. The pulses stimulate the retina's remaining healthy cells, causing them to relay the signal to the optic nerve.
The visual information then moves to the brain, where it is translated into patterns of light that can be recognized and interpreted, allowing the patient to regain some visual function.
When wearing the glasses, which Pontz refers to as his "eyes," he can identify and grab his cat and figure out that a flash of light is his grandson hightailing it to the kitchen.
The visual improvement is sometimes startling for Pontz and his wife, Terri, who is just as amazed at her husband's progress as he is.
"I said something I never thought I'd say: 'Stop staring at me while I'm eating,'" Terri Pontz said.
She drives her husband the nearly 200 miles from tiny Reed City, Mich., to Ann Arbor for check-ups and visits with occupational therapist Ashley Howson, who helps Roger Pontz reawaken his visual memory and learn techniques needed to make the most of his new vision.
At the recent visit, Howson handed Pontz white and black plates, instructed him to move them back and forth in front of light and dark backgrounds and asked that he determine their color.
Back home, Terri Pontz helps her husband practice the techniques he learns in Ann Arbor.
For them, the long hours on the road and the homework assignments are a blessing.
"What's it worth to see again? It's worth everything," Terri Pontz said.
The artificial retina procedure has been performed several-dozen times over the past few years in Europe, and the expectation is that it will find similar success in the U.S., where the University of Michigan is one of 12 centers accepting consultations for patients.
Candidates for the retinal prosthesis must be 25 or older with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa that has progressed to the point of having "bare light" or no light perception in both eyes.
Dr. Thiran Jayasundera, one of two physicians who performed the 4.5-hour surgery on Roger Pontz, is scheduled to discuss his experiences with the retinal prosthesis process during a meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery on Friday in Boston. He calls it a "game-changer."
Pontz agrees: "I can walk through the house with ease. If that's all I get out of this, it'd be great."
For users who have difficulty with the touch screen on Apple or Android devices, or who for any other reason want a keyboard interface to the phone, take a look at RiVO.
RiVO is a revolutionary keyboard-like remote for Apple iOS VoiceOver users. The name stands for Remote interface to VoiceOver. Being about the size of a credit card, it is highly portable and yet comfortable with big keys. There are 12 keys in the middle just like telephone keypad, and there are 4 additional keys on the left and on the right, respectively.
VoiceOver is an innovative technology from Apple and you can enjoy it like a breeze with RiVO. You can also type and edit text fast and easy, control music simple and handy. These features enable RiVO users to use a greater number of apps every day compared to VoiceOver users without RiVO. RiVO supports iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Android TalkBack is another innovative technology from Google, and Android version of RiVO is also available.
You can check it out at http://www.mobience.com/rivo/index.html
The following is an article from the Bismarck Tribune, and reprinted with permission from Brian Kroshus, Publisher – The Bismarck Tribune
Visually Impaired Bismarck High School Seniors are on the Go
by Morgan Wentz, Bismarck HiHerald
Bismarck High School senior Cole Roberts feels that people with disabilities are given less opportunities in the working field. “A lot of the times I am not sad I did not get the job, I am just sad people with visual impairments are the minority and have to fight to get the basic job,” Roberts said. “In the past I have had a few bad and a few good jobs. My mom told me that even if you don’t like the work place you’re at right now, it is a work experience.
Even high school kids with sight maybe don’t have the job they will do for the rest of their lives.”
Name: Morgan Wentz.
What I learned from writing this story: “There are great hurtles that a person with disabilities has to face when applying for a job, and that many people take the things they have for granted.”
My plans after high school: “I am attending UND to major in criminal justice.”
Bismarck High School seniors Amber Kraft and Cole Roberts are just like any other teenagers going off on their own, but with a characteristic they have proven does not define them — they are blind.
Roberts was born with a very rare genetic disorder called WAGR syndrome. The letters of WAGR stand for the physical effects of the disease. The symptoms include Wilm’s tumor, which is the most common form of kidney cancer in children; aniridia, where some or complete loss of the irises occurs; genitourinary problems and mental retardation. People with WAGR syndrome usually have two or more of the symptoms.
“No one in my family has WAGR, but I am now a carrier and have a 50 percent chance of passing it on to my children,” Roberts said. “I have every symptom of WAGR except R. I had glaucoma (a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball which gradually causes sight loss). My family and I knew I was going to lose my sight from very early in my life. They started teaching me colors, tactiles, shapes, etc., in preschool. I totally lost my sight in first grade.
In the same year I lost my sight, I also lost my right kidney to Wilm’s tumor. I cannot see at all, but if you say that is a red car I can picture it in my mind.”
Kraft was born with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy or FEVR disease.
“A lot of people have it, but they just don’t have the symptoms that I did,” Kraft said. “I lost all of my vision in my right eye when I was 4 years old, and then I had some vision in my left eye until I was 14. What happens is the vessels in your eyes break open and they start to leak and contaminate fluid that is in your eyes and it detaches your retina. Then you lose your sight and they try to do surgery to fix it, but it doesn’t always work. I had a lot of surgeries when I was younger, and I don’t really remember them. Then when I started to lose my sight again when I was 14, I had six surgeries within a year. I go to Detroit to see the eye doctor, and I was flying back and forth every two weeks. I feel like I missed most of my eighth-grade year.”
Bismarck Public Schools teacher of the blind and visually impaired Brandi Trom-Anderson has helped teach Roberts and Kraft the skills they need inside and outside of the classroom since they were in preschool.
“Most of my students are scheduled in my room for one class period,” Anderson said. “During this time, I might preteach a tactile drawing they need for class; students may be introduced to a new Braille symbol for math; they may learn how to navigate a website using a screen reader called JAWS or we even go to the kitchen and prepare a snack or meal. Students also practice independent mobility skills. One to two times a week they meet with the orientation and mobility specialist to learn how to be independent travelers whether they use their cane or the city bus. They learn to listen to traffic and safely cross streets.”
Roberts and Kraft can participate in class by using a BrailleNote that is like a computer with just a keyboard, and a laptop with a screen reader on it called JAWS. Teachers email or use Dropbox to send assignments or PowerPoints of the learning material.
“My technology is like a sighted person’s paper, writing tool, calculator, planner, books, etc.,” Roberts said. “I use a BrailleNote that is around $7,000. The better the BrailleNote, the more money it is just like a car or a computer. I am good on the laptop, but I am much better at the BrailleNote. On the BrailleNote I can type 50 words per minute.”
Roberts said that he does all of his school work on his BrailleNote.
“My BrailleNote can talk to me,” Roberts said. “A lot of the time I will just listen to the BrailleNote, but if I am in public, like school, I will read the braille or put headphones in. Most of the time in school I will have one headphone in and one ear open so I can follow along as the teacher is presenting notes.”
In addition to school, both Roberts and Kraft have had jobs. Currently, Roberts has a volunteer job at the nursing home called Touchmark, where he goes twice a month to read current events from the newspaper to the residents. Recently Roberts was hired by the Bismarck Tribune in the sports department.
“Businesses will email me upcoming events, and I will pick out the important information and send it to the paper,” Roberts said.
Kraft has had two jobs and is applying for another in the Call Center.
“My first job I worked at Sykes, and I think it was easier because there were two other blind people who worked there,” Kraft said. “So they were already prepared and knew how to help me and everything. For my second job, I worked at the Search Company of North Dakota, and they weren’t so sure about how to make accommodations, but we worked together to figure it out.”
This past summer, Roberts applied for a volunteer job at a local business.
“I am not going to judge or snitch on anyone, but when I called there they seemed like they were very happy and excited that I wanted to volunteer,” Roberts said. “As soon as I told them I was blind, they totally changed their tune. I felt like they were coming up with every reason under the sun why they did not want me to volunteer there. They told me I could not do it without someone constantly with me. I felt like they were indirectly calling me a liability, and not able to do the work independently.”
Anderson said it is difficult for a person with disabilities to find a job. She said it is more “the fear of the unknown. The employers don’t know how to act and do not know what they (people with disabilities) are capable of doing. The employer fears that the job would be a ‘hazard’ for someone who is blind.”
This school year, both Roberts and Kraft wrote their senior papers on the topic of the difficulty of finding a job that people with disabilities face.
“I think the most difficult thing is trying to prove to the employer that you are capable of doing things,” Kraft said. “I think a lot of people think that because I’m blind I can’t really do things, but obviously I can, and I just have to prove that to them. And I think now that I have some experience, employers can see that I am capable of doing things.”
Also, Anderson feels that having the ability to read Braille largely affects a visually impaired person’s job opportunities.
“All the technology in the world will never take away the importance of being able to read braille,” Anderson said. “Braille is literacy and the employment rate for someone who is literate in braille is higher.”
When Roberts and Kraft were in preschool, Anderson taught them to read braille in a fun way much like a child with sight.
“Usually it starts with tactile discrimination,” Anderson said. “We have to train their fingers to be able to tell the difference if one little dot is different. Like all children they loved to ‘look’ at pictures. We have a library of tactile books in our program.”
Kraft said that being able to read braille allows a person who is visually impaired to be more independent.
“Walking through a building trying to find a room, if you’re blind and you can’t read braille, and you’ve never seen print before, you’re not going to be able to find that room by yourself,” Kraft said. “You will have to ask for help. So if you can read braille it’s just going to make you more successful because you’re not going to always have to be reliant on other people all the time.”
After graduation, Kraft wants to go to Bismarck State College for a couple of years and then to the University of North Dakota to be a computer programmer.
This summer, Roberts is planning on going to Sioux Falls, S.D., for 10 weeks. There he will take part in a rehabilitation program for people who are visually impaired. The center offers many classes, including technology, career seeking and training, daily living skills, mobility training or cane work in the community, etc. Roberts wants to have a career in customer service, phone operations such as the switch boards or a dispatcher.
“The rehabilitation center will help people like me transition from high school and living at home to being independent,” Roberts said. “In April, my family and I are going to tour the school just like any other senior in high school goes to tour their college. After the 10 weeks, I am not sure if I will need more training or if I will be able to complete the program. I am keeping an open mind, and I am not sure if I am going to college after the program or if I will just start in my career.”
Anderson said colleges have someone who is available to support students with disabilities, and that Roberts and Kraft will have the real college experience.
“They (Roberts and Kraft) will have many of the same experiences as their peers along with added challenges,” Anderson said. “Challenges might include navigating campus, meeting people, and probably the biggest obstacle is getting materials in an accessible format.”
Roberts said that he “is just a typical senior” who lives every day by his motto, “Walk by faith, not by sight.”
“I was scared to come to BHS at first,” Roberts said. “BHS is a large school. I think just starting high school or going to a new school in general, including college, is a scary thought for everyone, sight or no sight. From Day One, all of you have been supportive and very welcoming. I thank you.”
About the 2014 American Council of the Blind’s Legislative Seminar
by Allan Peterson
This year’s Legislative Seminar of the American Council of the Blind was held in the Washington, DC area from Sunday, February 23rd through Tuesday, February 25th. Approximately 90 to 100 advocates representing a number of ACB’s state affiliates attended the seminar - among them were the three of us representing NDAB - Zelda Gebhard, Donna Hepper and myself.
The seminar followed its usual format in that two or three priorities are selected as the primary focus of our advocacy efforts. The first two or so days of the seminar are spent becoming more thoroughly educated about these priorities. On the third day of the seminar, armed with this information, we make our way to Capitol Hill and meet with members of Congress and/or their staff people. In our case, because we are their constituents, we make it a priority to schedule appointments to visit the offices of our North Dakota congressional delegation - Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp and Congressman Kramer.
Two issues were the primary focus of this year’s seminar, they were:
Issue #1: H.R. 3749, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013 introduced in December of 2013 in the U.S. House by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (Democrat-New York) and Gus Bilirakis (Republican -Florida).
Pertinent background: For decades, the vision loss community has advocated for the inclusion of low vision devices under Medicare’s coverage. Currently, Medicare will not pay for any device that uses a lens, regardless of whether or not this equipment enhances the visual accessibility for people who have limited residual sight. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency responsible for the management of Medicare, issued a ruling in 2008 that, vision aids such as low vision devices that use one or more lens were to be excluded from Medicare coverage - , just as are eye glasses or contact lenses.
How does H.R. 3749 address this unacceptable policy regarding low vision aids? The bill would authorize a nationwide Medicare demonstration project to evaluate the fiscal impact of making a permanent change in Medicare coverage to pay for low vision devices. The bill would initiate a five-year demonstration project that would put low vision devices in the hands of some qualified Medicare beneficiaries. The legislation does require that the demonstration project be national in scope and it be explicitly designed to yield reliable data and meaningful results. Once the legislation is enacted and the demonstration project is successfully completed, Congress will have significantly richer data upon which to consider making changes to the Medicare program for low vision devices. Precisely how many individuals will receive low vision devices and how many physicians across the country will participate in this demonstration project will need to be determined by Medicare, working in consultation with stakeholder groups. The legislation makes $12.5 million available for the demonstration project over a five year period.
Issue #2: H.R. 4040: The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act Introduced in January of this year by Reps. Matt Cartwright (Democrat -Pennsylvania), Mark Takano (Democrat – California), and Steve Stockman (Republican - Texas).
Pertinent background: It’s a fact that many students in our nation’s k12 school system who are blind and visually impaired are not receiving the training or tools that are needed to make them competitive with their sighted peers – today most students with visual impairments are mainstreamed in the classroom with their sighted peers.
Present standards for the education of all children with disabilities were passed into public law through the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975. It’s true that this law revolutionized educational opportunities for all children and youth with disabilities. However, Educators and leaders in the community of persons with sight loss, recognize that without some key improvements to this law, our national special education system cannot fully keep IDEA’s promise to provide a truly appropriate education for those students who are blind or visually impaired.
How might H.R. 4040 address this gap in the education for children with blindness and visual impairments? The bill is heralded by advocates as being the most comprehensive piece of legislation designed to enhance and reform America's special education system for students with vision loss and students with hearing loss, since passage of IDEA 40 years ago. The goal of this legislation, is to ensure that: every child who is deaf and every child who is blind, regardless of whether they have additional disabilities, will be properly counted and served; each of a child's unique learning needs will be properly evaluated; states will be directed to engage in strategic planning to be sure that they can in fact meet each child's specialized needs; the U.S. Department of Education will be directed to do its part to hold states and schools accountable; students who are deaf will be served by qualified personnel; and students who are blind will receive state-of-the-art services and skills supported through a new major national collaborative initiative that addresses their unique learning needs.
The title of H.R. 4040 was named to help acknowledge and honor 2 individuals; one was a teacher and the other a student. Anne Sullivan Macy was Helen Keller's beloved teacher and Alice Cogswell was the first deaf girl to be educated in a school for the deaf in the United States.
Both of the bills described above in this article have only recently been introduced in Congress. It needs to be said too that you can do much to help advocate for these initiatives by contacting members of the North Dakota congressional delegation and urge them to sign on as sponsors for these two bills.
North Dakota has only one representative in the U.S. House of Representatives – that lone representative is Congressman Kevin Kramer. The Congressman’s Capitol Hill office can be reached by calling 202-225-2611. North Dakota’s Senators are John Hoevenand Heidi Heitkamp; Senator Hoeven’s Capitol Hill office number is 202-224-2 26551and Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s office number is 202-224-2043.
It’s especially noteworthy and beneficial that these two bills have sponsors from both sides of the political aisle. It is also noteworthy that the Cogs well Macy bill is a collaborative effort with advocates for the education of children with hearing impairments – which, we believe, can do much to help enhance the effort to pass this legislation in Congress.
Our visits on Capitol Hill typically last about 20 to 30 minutes and are usually with one or two staff people in the office who have been assigned to research and advise the member of Congress on issue areas in which the staffer has expertise. Many of those visits are with the same staff person that we have met with in the past who has been assigned the responsibility for researching health care policy initiatives for that congressional office.
One of the highlights of our Capitol Hill visits had to be the visit to Senator Heitkamp’s office. She joined us for that meeting and expressed much interest in the Cogswell – Macy bill. I also had the opportunity recently to again bring this issue to her attention at a town hall meeting in Fargo.
The day we spent on Capitol Hill wouldn’t be described as a relaxing, sightseeing adventure because we made a total of 12 visits during the day – a day that began at 8 with a cab ride to the Capitol and ended at 5:30 with a cab ride back to the hotel. We made visits not only to the offices of our North Dakota congressional delegation but also to those of South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming as well. Those visits were made in part because no one from those state affiliates was able to attend the seminar.
The rationale for making visits to the neighboring state members of Congress follows the reasoning that legislators in those states are also often very influential in the decision making process on Capitol Hill. Note: We arranged in advance for our visits to those offices with the assistance of those state affiliates of ACB.
FYI: A number of other policy issues of interest were discussed during the Seminar, including the possibility of reauthorizing the Rehabilitation Act, reauthorization of the Transportation Act, regulations regarding accessibility standards for prescription drug labeling, progress on implementation of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), efforts to pass the treaty for the visually impaired (also known as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty, and much more!
Again I believe that our investment in attending the seminar is important to NDAB and ACB in many respects. Not only does it give us the opportunity to advocate for our current legislative initiatives, but it is important in the respect that it builds ongoing relationships with our elected leaders and the people who staff their offices in Washington, DC.
Finally, thank you so much NDAB once again for the privilege of representing your interests at this year’s ACB Legislative Seminar! A huge thank you too to Zelda and Donna for their help to me during this latest adventure to our nation’s capital in Washington, DC.
NDAB BOARD MEETING
January 26, 2014
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mark Kueffler, Alexandra Engraf, Michelle Zentz, Helen Baumgartner, Janelle Olson, Paula Anundson, Allan Peterson Zelda Gebhard
GUEST: Missy Miller
President Mark called the meeting to order at 7:16 PM. Allan made a motion to approve the agenda as given. The motion was seconded and carries.
- Welcome: Board members were welcomed to the meeting.
- Respect & Communication: Members were reminded of these rules. Let’s keep this a safe environment where we can express ourselves.
- Convention Report: (Missy): The annual convention is being held in Fargo, ND June 13-15. The hotel will be the Country Inn and Suites. Rooms are $89. The board room has been booked from 2-4 PM on Friday. On Friday night, there will be a legislative picnic held at a West Fargo picnic area. Also on Friday from 12-4 PM, there will be a vender expo event at the hotel. This will be open to the public. There is not a restaurant in the hotel. There is one next door, The Green Mill. We will use the board room as a hospitality room on Saturday. There is a lounge at the hotel. It was suggested that more money be given to the convention budget. This additional amount would cover taxes and gratuity of the banquet and luncheon. This amount has been estimated at $500. This increase would assist in reducing the costs for members to attend the convention. We have paid more for hotel rooms in the past. There is currently $600 allotted for the banquet. There is approximately $3,200 set aside for the whole convention. In the future, it might be wise to look into the money allotted for the convention and make necessary adjustments. There will be a fifty-fifty drawing on Saturday to help with convention costs. The committee is making its best efforts to be mindful of costs. The speaker and MC are not asking for any money for their services. In regards to the planning committee, there has been much interest and involvement in convention planning by the membership in Fargo.
Allan made a motion to approve $500 for the taxes and gratuities of the luncheon and banquet. The motion was seconded. Discussion was held. Clarification was made that this included costs of the banquet and convention as a whole. A clarification was made as to where the money would come from. This would change the budget from $3,200 to $3,700. The motion carries.
- Website: (Matt): Any changes to the website will be made respectfully and correctly. Matt is looking into website designers and getting perspective prices. A point was made that the website will need to be accessible no matter what changes are made.
Secretary’s Report (Ali): Paula made a motion to dispense the reading of the Secretary’s report. Discussion was held. Paula withdrew the motion.
Correspondence was received from the Secretary of State, containing the annual report form for ACB.
Sympathy cards have been sent out on behalf of Jeanne Wengel, Evelyn Schumacher, Sandy Nelson, Linda Oyloe, Garnet Preabt, Connie Springsted, and Zelda’s mother,
- Treasurer’s Report (Helen): The treasure’s report was given, and is placed on file.
American Century Investments advise investment in which we could invest the CD that will come due in November.
Paula made a motion to double the amount we are contributing to the money market into three investment amounts to be a total of $3,000 a month. The motion was seconded and carries.
The IBM stocks are still at compu share.
- Financial Chair Report: (Alan): A written report was E-mailed to every board member prior to the meeting. We have raised $6,050 from gaming license letters, $1,300 from lions clubs. The total raised is $18,400. This includes the Wal-mart grant and car sale.
Saturday April 26, the annual Walk-A-Thon will take place in Fargo. Mary will help with the Minot Walk. Carol agreed to lead effort in Williston. Genie Lang and Donna will head the walk in Bismarck.
- Committee Reports
- Camp Report: Camp will be August 10-17. Loris is continuously looking for more classes.
- Family Adjustment Seminar: (Janelle): The date for the next Family Adjustment Seminar is set April 12th in Minot. Connections are being made. If you know anyone who could benefit from this program, please contact Janelle Olson.
- Legislative Report (Alan): A detailed legislative report was published in the Promoter. Allan and Zelda will be going to Washington DC in February to advocate for legislative issues. These resolutions include reauthorization of IDEA and transportation, eye glass exclusion, and the Anne Sullivan Macy Act.
- Membership Report (Zelda): Membership renewals have been sent out. The 2nd renewals will be sent out soon. We have had three members die since our last meeting. . These members include Sandy Nelson, Linda Oyloe, and Connie Springsted. We have gained three new members since our last meeting. On October 22, 2013, Rose Staller was approved for membership, and on November 5, 2013, Paul Griffin was approved for membership. Stephen Skjei was approved for membership on November 24, 2013. The new member orientation is still in the works of being planned. Therefore, this topic will be tabled until the next meeting.
- Publicity Report (Sherry): The template for business cards and White Cane Project had been tabled until further clarification is noted. Sherry just got married. Therefore, she is currently unavailable. We will table this issue until the next meeting.
- Nominating Committee Report (Paula): We are currently looking for a secretary. Dianne G is willing to run for board member and delegate. Missy Miller is also running for delegate. Please contact Paula if you are interested in running for any position.
- Participation Incentive Program (PIP): (Zelda): A reminder was placed in the Promoter about the PIP. We should encourage members to keep participating in this program.
- Old Business
- 2015 Convention: A location decision must be made We need to figure out where we will be holding the convention in 2015. Jamestown was mentioned. There has been a convention in Jamestown. Gladstone was another location looked into. Gladstone has many convention standards. We do have members who live in Jamestown. Zelda will contact Jamestown for 2ndweekend in June of 2015.
- Post-convention Meeting: We will be accepting stipends for national convention prior to this coming post-convention meeting. Mark will contact the historian and scholarship chair to discuss their responsibility for taking photographs. Mark will contact Scholarship and Historian committee for photographs.
- Robert (Bob) LePage Award Letters: The letters have been sent out.
- Strategic Planning: We need to schedule a date to discuss the draft of Strategic Plan. This is not something we can discuss in just a few minutes. We need to set up a separate hour call to discuss planning that has been going on. This was agreed on by the board. The formatting of the plan looks very nice. Times to have this call were discussed. This call will be planned for March 2nd at 7:00 PM.
III New Business
- Facebook: The Facebook page appears to be ready to go public. There will be more information regarding this matter at the next board meeting.
- Paula has decided to give up other organizations except NDAB.
- Janelle has been forced to get an IPhone.
- Zelda thanks everyone for their support with the passing of her mother.
Date and Time of Next Board Meeting
The date of the next board meeting will tentatively be April 12th during the Family Adjustment Seminar weekend.
Meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.
February 11, 2014
Approved February 19, 2014
NDAB Participation Incentive Program
The Participation Incentive Program provides an exciting opportunity for you as a member to make a real difference in your organization and earn recognition too! This year there are even more ways to promote NDAB and earn extra points.
The incentive program is quite simple and focuses on NDAB’s priority areas:
(1) Increase Participation at NDAB events, (2) Membership Growth, (3) Increased Fundraising and new this year (4) Public Awareness and Education. Educate about vision loss and let people know about NDAB by giving a presentation or talking to a group or organization with 10 or more people present. Or accomplish the same objectives by writing an article for a newspaper or newsletter or organizing and manning an NDAB display or booth at an event. It is a fun way to guarantee that NDAB will continue to positively change the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. You can make a difference!
- New members signing up at Camp andFamily Adjustment Seminar do not count towards membership points
- Board members are disqualified from participating in Incentive Program.
- To be considered for awards and prizes you must complete Participation Report with points earned and submit prior to June 1st.
- Before taking any actions to fulfill the activities of (4) Public Awareness and Education, we recommend that you contact a member of the board to obtain helpful materials and approval.
- First Prize for the most points - 1 night at convention or $100
- Second Prize - $50
- Third Prize - $25
Awards will be presented during the banquet at the state convention.
The reporting form may be found on the next page, on the website or by requesting one from Membership Chair
8169 66th St SE
Edgeley, ND 58433
After you have filled out your form, mail to Zelda at the above address before June 1.
NDAB Participation Incentive Program
Member Report 2013-2014
____I participated in an NDAB walk-a-thon (5 points)
People I brought to the walk-a-thon (1 point each)
___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________
New members I sponsored (5 points each)
(Sponsorship of 3 new members = 1 free year of membership to NDAB)
Member I sponsored last year who renewed membership this year (10 points)
Sponsored member who attended NDAB event (5 points each)
____________________________ Camp___ Convention___ Walk-a-thon___
____________________________ Camp___ Convention___ Walk-a-thon___
Amount raised $____________($50-$100 5 points, Each additional $100 5 points)
Public Awareness and Education
Presentation given to ________________________(organization or group >10 people) 5 points
Booth or Display at___________________________ (health fair or other event)
Article written for publication __________________ (in a newspaper or newsletter)
Total Points Reported __________
How Much Music Can You Make?
Reprinted with permission from Steve Goodier www.LifeSupportSystem.com
Imagine this. A concert violinist is performing a difficult piece in front of a large audience. Suddenly there is a loud snap that reverberates throughout the auditorium. The audience immediately knows that a string has broken and fully expects the concert to be suspended until another string, or instrument, is brought to the musician.
But instead, the violinist composes herself, closes her eyes and then signals the conductor to begin again. The orchestra resumes where it had left off and now the musician plays the music on the remaining three strings. In her mind she works out new fingering to compensate. A work that few people can play well on a perfect instrument, the violinist with the broken string plays magnificently.
When she finishes, an awesome silence hangs in the room. And then as one, the crowd rises to their feet amidst enthusiastic applause and cheers. The violinist smiles and wipes perspiration from her brow. When silence returns to the great room, she explains why she continued to play in spite of the accident. "You know," she says, still breathless, "sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."
(Though this incident is sometimes purported to have happened to the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman, it cannot be substantiated and is more likely grist in the mill of urban legend. But there is a powerful truth in this story nevertheless.)
We know what the violinist means, don't we? We know about experiencing losses and setbacks. We know what it means to find out how much music we can still make with what we have left.
Maybe you've lived most of your life and you have only a little time remaining. Though most of your life is behind, can you still make music?
Maybe disease or an accident has robbed you of your capacity to work. Though too sick or weak to hold down a job, are there other ways to contribute? Can you still make music?
Perhaps a financial loss has left you impoverished. Without the resources you've enjoyed in the past, can you count up the numerous other resources still available to you? Time? Energy? Skills? Knowledge? Can you still make music?
Or maybe a meaningful relationship has ended and you feel alone in the world. Will you figure out what that loss means in your life, grieve its passing and decide you still have a future? Can you still make music?
There are times when we all experience loss; times when something occurs that changes everything. Like the violinist, will you find the courage to discover just how much music you can still make with what you have left? How much good you can still do? How much joy you can still share?
I'm convinced that the world, more than ever, needs the music only you can make. And if it takes extra courage to keep playing in spite of your loss, many will applaud the effort. And who knows? Others may be inspired to pick up their broken instruments, their broken lives, and begin again.
The all-important question we each must ask is this: Just how much music can I make with what I have left?
NDAB Leadership Roster
Mark Kueffler, 1406 14 ½ Ave E, West Fargo ND 58078-3428, #866-9908
Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND 58433 #493-2399
Alexandra Engraf, 1303 8th St NW, Hettinger ND 58639 #206-1028
Helen Baumgartner, 402 12th Ave NW, Mandan ND 58554 #663-8878
Michelle Zentz, 1025 7th Ave S #5, Fargo ND 58103 #298-9105
Board of Directors:
Donna Hepper, 1420 83rd St, Ft. Yates ND 58538 #854-7395
Paula Anundson, 151 S Central #206, Valley City ND 58072 #490-0888
Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND 58801 #570-0801
Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND 58047 #282-4644
Legislative Liaison Chairpersons:
Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND 58047 #282-4644
Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND 58433 #493-2399
Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND 58801 #774-3399
Rick Feldman, 3301 Bohnet Blvd, Fargo ND 58102 #235-3293
Family Adjustment Seminar Chairperson:
Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND 58801 #570-0801
Sports and Recreation Chairperson:
Dave Sundeen, 310 Dunsmoore Ave #1, Buxton ND 58218 #847-3139
Scholarship Committee Chairperson:
Tracy Wicken, 733 Dawn Circle, Grand Forks ND 58203 #772-7669
Denise Kirsch, 1934 N 16th St Unit 3, Bismarck ND 58501 #223-8774
Sherry DeFrancesco, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND 58103 #540-6356
Local News Reporters:
Bismarck: Bob Vandal, 1311 N 3rd St, Bismarck ND 58501 #400-0109
Fargo: Shereen Faber, 3001 Madison Ave, Fargo ND 58102 #237-4589
Grand Forks: Olga Neal, 3538 10th Ave N, Grand Forks ND 58203 #775-5820
Minot: Doug and Mary Stip, 813 Park St, Minot ND 58701-4551 #839-4128
Williston: Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND 58801 #774-3399
Kathy Larson, 15225 59th St NW, Williston ND 58801-9560 #875-4291
All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor by mail, phone or e-mail for publication. Deadline is the 10th of the month prior to quarterly publications of February, May, August and November.
NDAB is a nonprofit organization which promotes the interest of ND residents who are blind and visually impaired. As a nonprofit organization, we welcome donations to help in advancing the cause of persons who are blind and visually impaired.
To learn more about NDAB visit us online at www.ndab.org